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ripping the subjectivist way...?


Deaf Cat

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Hi

Trying different tweeks like OS change to win8, ethernet cables, sata cables, cutting down services etc for playback, makes me think the same should / may apply to ripping.

 

A while ago i came accross a thread about ripping in safe mode, that i tried and to my pleasent supprise music seemed to sound that little bit more alive.

 

So i was just wondering what you had tried and liked when experimenting with ripping? am i thinking along the right lines some playback tweeks may apply also to ripping..

 

Any thoughts appreciated

Cheers

DC

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Hi

Trying different tweeks like OS change to win8, ethernet cables, sata cables, cutting down services etc for playback, makes me think the same should / may apply to ripping.

 

A while ago i came accross a thread about ripping in safe mode, that i tried and to my pleasent supprise music seemed to sound that little bit more alive.

 

So i was just wondering what you had tried and liked when experimenting with ripping? am i thinking along the right lines some playback tweeks may apply also to ripping..

 

Any thoughts appreciated

Cheers

DC

 

No, you are just trying to accurately extract the bits from the CD and copy them to a hard disk file. If you use a ripper like XLD for Mac OS X (or dBPoweramp for Windows), they use a database called 'Accurate Rip' which tells it whether or not the bits are exactly as expected. Sometimes they are not and XLD and other good ripping software will tell you about the errors.

 

I am a 'subjectivist' type of audiophile, but in this case bits are just bits, and the whole process is pretty 'objectivist'. XLD is more fussy and has more error checking and correction than say iTunes, as does dBPoweramp. Some CD drives might give more errors than other CD drives. This is all measurable, and doesn't involve any listening as far as I know.

System (i): Stack Audio Link > 2Qute+MCRU psu; Gyrodec/SME V/Ortofon 2M Black/EAT E-Glo Petit/Magnum Dynalab FT101A) > Glow Amp One > Klipsch RP-600M/REL T5x subs

System (ii): Allo USB Signature > Bel Canto uLink+AQVOX psu > Chord Hugo > Tandy LX5/REL Tzero v3 subs

System (iii) KEF LS50W/KEF R400b subs

 

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If you feel like it, the other thing you can do is rip in two different ways or conditions, convert the files to wav (to strip of the trivial metadata differences), and compare their checksums. If you accept two files having the same sha1 or md5sum are bit-identical, and that bit-identical wav files must sound identical, then you have an "objective" way of testing whether those conditions really make a difference.

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Deaf Cat

Predictable responses from the "bits are bits" brigade. I have been able to demonstrate to a couple of Sydney EEs recently, as well as previously to others whose names have been well documented in my previous replies, and quite a few C.A. members that these things do indeed result in a better sounding rip, despite what the checksums may imply. Improved power supplies to the Optical device, and also better isolation/filtering of the power to the OS drive also helps. Replacing long internal generic SATA cables with shorter and more direct SATA 3 6GBs cables which have 2 separate internal screened cables, instead of 7 side by side wires in a long cable that may be draped across the motherboard also helps, as does unplugging the Broadband Modem during ripping. I certainly wouldn't suggest paying 300 Euros for a Paul Pang SATA cable, but as short SATA 3 6GBs cables are only several dollars each on ebay and elsewhere, why not try them ? If nothing else, air flow inside the case will be improved.I used to rip in Safe Mode in W7/32 with improved results in my previous PC, but with a new PC using Win 8/64 I get similar results without the need for Safe Mode, which is now a P.I.T.A to get into with Win8.

The use of a less thirsty Intel Processor (I7) compared with the earlier Intel processor and a brand new SMPS undoubtedly helps too,

(the large low ESR electrolytics in a SMPS do deteriorate with age and heat) as does reducing non essential programs at start up.

Regards

Alex

 

P.S.

Anti vibration measures also have a part to play here too.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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Deaf Cat

Predictable responses from the "bits are bits" brigade. I have been able to demonstrate to a couple of Sydney EEs recently, as well as previously to others whose names have been well documented in my previous replies, and quite a few C.A. members that these things do indeed result in a better sounding rip, despite what the checksums may imply. Improved power supplies to the Optical device, and also better isolation/filtering of the power to the OS drive also helps. Replacing long internal generic SATA cables with shorter and more direct SATA 3 6GBs cables which have 2 separate internal screened cables, instead of 7 side by side wires in a long cable that may be draped across the motherboard also helps, as does unplugging the Broadband Modem during ripping. I certainly wouldn't suggest paying 300 Euros for a Paul Pang SATA cable, but as short SATA 3 6GBs cables are only several dollars each on ebay and elsewhere, why not try them ? If nothing else, air flow inside the case will be improved.I used to rip in Safe Mode in W7/32 with improved results in my previous PC, but with a new PC using Win 8/64 I get similar results without the need for Safe Mode, which is now a P.I.T.A to get into with Win8.

The use of a less thirsty Intel Processor (I7) compared with the earlier Intel processor and a brand new SMPS undoubtedly helps too,

(the large low ESR electrolytics in a SMPS do deteriorate with age and heat) as does reducing non essential programs at start up.

Regards

Alex

 

Alex,

 

With all due respect your response to this thread was just as predictable as those above it. Not saying you are wrong though...

 

:)

 

KK

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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Deaf Cat

Predictable responses from the "bits are bits" brigade. I have been able to demonstrate to a couple of Sydney EEs recently, as well as previously to others whose names have been well documented in my previous replies, and quite a few C.A. members that these things do indeed result in a better sounding rip, despite what the checksums may imply. Improved power supplies to the Optical device, and also better isolation/filtering of the power to the OS drive also helps. Replacing long internal generic SATA cables with shorter and more direct SATA 3 6GBs cables which have 2 separate internal screened cables, instead of 7 side by side wires in a long cable that may be draped across the motherboard also helps, as does unplugging the Broadband Modem during ripping. I certainly wouldn't suggest paying 300 Euros for a Paul Pang SATA cable, but as short SATA 3 6GBs cables are only several dollars each on ebay and elsewhere, why not try them ? If nothing else, air flow inside the case will be improved.I used to rip in Safe Mode in W7/32 with improved results in my previous PC, but with a new PC using Win 8/64 I get similar results without the need for Safe Mode, which is now a P.I.T.A to get into with Win8.

The use of a less thirsty Intel Processor (I7) compared with the earlier Intel processor and a brand new SMPS undoubtedly helps too,

(the large low ESR electrolytics in a SMPS do deteriorate with age and heat) as does reducing non essential programs at start up.

Regards

Alex

 

What mechanism do you propose is responsible for the effects you describe? By definition a file stored on a hard drive consists of the bits in the file, and nothing but the bits in file. Thats how computers work. It is possible that if a file is very fragmented it will be more difficult to access and cause audible effects. That problem can be fixed in nearly all file systems by copying the file to a storage area with enough free space to not cause excessive fragmentation.

System (i): Stack Audio Link > 2Qute+MCRU psu; Gyrodec/SME V/Ortofon 2M Black/EAT E-Glo Petit/Magnum Dynalab FT101A) > Glow Amp One > Klipsch RP-600M/REL T5x subs

System (ii): Allo USB Signature > Bel Canto uLink+AQVOX psu > Chord Hugo > Tandy LX5/REL Tzero v3 subs

System (iii) KEF LS50W/KEF R400b subs

 

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What mechanism do you propose is responsible for the effects you describe? By definition a file stored on a hard drive consists of the bits in the file, and nothing but the bits in file. Thats how computers work. It is possible that if a file is very fragmented it will be more difficult to access and cause audible effects. That problem can be fixed in nearly all file systems by copying the file to a storage area with enough free space to not cause excessive fragmentation.

 

here-we-go-again-let-it-go-son.jpg

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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Many thanks for all your replies so far.

 

I do try to understand the technical side of things, as I do find it rather interesting, but much does unfortunately go way over my head. Bits is bits, check sums, etc, interesting to learn about, but my personal take on it is if I change a cable, put brass isolating feet under a hdd, etc and then have a listen to my favourite tunes, if I like the sound better, the change stays, if I hear no difference or don't like the result, the original state remains.

 

I'm learning that things I did not even think about can alter the resulting sound, so there are bound to be may more things out there that I still have not even thought of that may alter the sound. I find it fun experimenting.

 

I have my old pentium D win8 pc that just plays music, one hdd for OS one for music, both attached by twin looking sata cables (prefer these to the flat ones) both hdd's on iso feet, pc box is also on iso feet, it only had two sata slots so can't use it to rip easily.

 

I have my day to day win8 pc that has loadsa tosh on it, and an XP machine, I was thinking the XP machine would be best to tinker as a ripping machine, as it is not in use every day, and safe mode is easy to get to, like sandyk says win8 p.i.t.a.

 

Cheers for the tip on win8 not in safe mode.

I'll have a better read tomorrow, dinner is calling.

Interesting about the caps in the psu. I've not long discovered my psu caps need replacing in my power amp, it's lost it's balls! will get some decent quality ones put back in!

 

cheers

dc

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Interesting about the caps in the psu. I've not long discovered my psu caps need replacing in my power amp, it's lost it's balls! will get some decent quality ones put back in!

 

cheers

dc

 

Hi dc

Electros certainly do deteriorate. Recently I contacted Silicon Chip magazine 's Editor about my experiences with Suntan brand electros from Jaycar prematurely getting domed tops when used well within their ratings. I bought 4 new ones and was asking the sales assistant if he had other reports about this. He plonked them down on their tops while looking up the cattledog number, and one fell over. It was brand new, yet had a domed top and signs of leakage.

Later I checked my remaining stocks and found 3 unused Suntan Low ESR Electros out of 4 with domed tops and leakage evident. I sent the S.C. Editor an enlarged photo of them which he forwarded to Jaycar's Technical Director. No feedback yet though. A couple of days ago my EE friend told me that the Krell preamp another friend had loaned him started spitting and popping. He opened it up and saw several domed electros that needed replacing !

 

Kind Regards

Alex

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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Alex,

 

With all due respect your response to this thread was just as predictable as those above it. Not saying you are wrong though...

 

:)

 

KK

 

The impression that I gained from reading the original post was that he wasn't asking for comments suggesting that he couldn't possibly hear the differences he reported when using Safe Mode.

Did you really expect myself and others to stand back and not offer counterpoints to replies 2 and 3 given that he wasn't asking for negative replies ? He was asking for suggestions as to how to possibly improve the SQ of his rips.

Is it any wonder that there is quite a bit of "tit for tat" going on in this forum ?

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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Just my take on this, but you are only pulling computer data off the CD disc and storing it on a hard disk somewhere. I believe the data is precisely and exactly the same. No difference. And if that is true, then there can not be a difference in the sound between two identical data files.

 

However - in most of the cases where people whose opinions I respect had reported audible differences in RIPS, they have been storing the RIP on a different media, be that different hard disks with special clean power, compact flash, or USB memory sticks. I do believe that the storage media can make a difference, at least in some cases, in the actual sound when the music is played back.

 

But the final word I would say is that if it sounds better to you one way or another, then ignore what everybody thinks and just do it the way you like the best. It may turn out eventually that I and others who think the same way are wrong, or just "ear blind" to whatever difference you are hearing. :)

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Hi dc

Electros certainly do deteriorate.....

....domed electros that needed replacing !

Kind Regards

Alex

 

It's not good is it, quality of materials/manufacturing gone down the pan, I notice the same poor quality components in the plumbing industry too! everyone is making things cheaper and cheaper, I don't like it.

I understand my amps caps have aged as they were obviously built to a tight price point, and not of good quality to start with, But Krell! I would have thought they would have specified rather good caps...

 

I bought an old old tag maclaren 60P and that has an amazing amount of balls, Elna power caps in there, obviously high quality caps this old and still performing rather well! Trying to find some Elna for my other amps... proving difficult.

 

Good luck with sorting your domed ones out!

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But the final word I would say is that if it sounds better to you one way or another, then ignore what everybody thinks and just do it the way you like the best. It may turn out eventually that I and others who think the same way are wrong, or just "ear blind" to whatever difference you are hearing. :)

 

-Paul

 

Cheers Paul,

Yes read everything and make my own mind up, with my ears ;-)

 

I don't understand quite how it all works but, if differences in playback are heard by changing hdd's, sata cables, reducing pc activity, having clean power etc, it begs the question why would these changes not affect anything when recording stuff, like a cd. This is the area I am going to investigate with my ears listening before I start ripping too many un-ripped cds :-)

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He was asking for suggestions as to how to possibly improve the SQ of his rips.

 

Exactly :-)

 

And thank you Alex for the comments above, I have a list of things now I never would have thought of my self, that I will have a go at changing and listening, and see what occurs.

Cheers

Mark

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Mark

As you are not into DIY, don't forget devices such as SOtM SATA filters. Without added low noise internal PSUs or PSU filters ,you are unlikely to notice much change, so it would be worthwhile implementing all the simple things such as Safe Mode, SATA3 6GBs cables, anti vibration, start up program management, modem unplugged when ripping etc. at the same time. None of those is going to cause a backwards step, and the cost is minimal.

BTW, even some Security programs such as Norton Internet Security, offer Start up program management

Regards

Alex

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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On the other hand, I have a class A power amp playing music in the background that was built in 1979 that still works great with the original power supply caps. As I recall, about a decade or so ago there was a run of bad caps on this planet that had bad electrolyte or something.

 

At the risk of poking the hornets nest, you might want to look into the actual drive you are using to rip with as well. They are not all the same by a long stretch.

Hi dc

Electros certainly do deteriorate. Recently I contacted Silicon Chip magazine 's Editor about my experiences with Suntan brand electros from Jaycar prematurely getting domed tops when used well within their ratings. I bought 4 new ones and was asking the sales assistant if he had other reports about this. He plonked them down on their tops while looking up the cattledog number, and one fell over. It was brand new, yet had a domed top and signs of leakage.

Later I checked my remaining stocks and found 3 unused Suntan Low ESR Electros out of 4 with domed tops and leakage evident. I sent the S.C. Editor an enlarged photo of them which he forwarded to Jaycar's Technical Director. No feedback yet though. A couple of days ago my EE friend told me that the Krell preamp another friend had loaned him started spitting and popping. He opened it up and saw several domed electros that needed replacing !

 

Kind Regards

Alex

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

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At the risk of poking the hornets nest, you might want to look into the actual drive you are using to rip with as well. They are not all the same by a long stretch.

 

Hi Forrest

That's why I chose a LG GGW H20L Blu Ray writer several years back , after Terry O from DIY Audio posted a photo taken with high res medical imaging gear of a disc burned by one. I reported great results using it in another forum and before long 6 members were using them with good results. We then added strips of 3M 2552 aluminium self adhesive anti vibration tape to them, and all reported further improvements in rips. Add a very low noise highly stable PSU to the equation and there are further improvements, and burned discs also seem to benefit from the ultra stable PSU too.

Many PC motherboards were also badly affected by the pirated electrolyte formula from one of the majors that the copiers didn't get quite right.

 

Kind Regards

Alex

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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Cheers Paul,

Yes read everything and make my own mind up, with my ears ;-)

 

I don't understand quite how it all works but, if differences in playback are heard by changing hdd's, sata cables, reducing pc activity, having clean power etc, it begs the question why would these changes not affect anything when recording stuff, like a cd. This is the area I am going to investigate with my ears listening before I start ripping too many un-ripped cds :-)

 

Certainly burning a CD is a good example of where a slower speed, clean power, and some vibration control makes a difference. But he reason here is that the CD media itself - the pits as they say - are burned cleanly and with greater regularity. The result when you read it back is less error and less jitter.

 

And of course, the information - the ones and zeros - on the disk are exactly the same as they are on a hard drive or in memory. Indeed, I think the sound of every CD I have improves when it is RIPed.

 

-Paul

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Paul

I would still love to see an explanation from you as to how a CD burned at a slower speed , using clean highly stable power and some vibration control, can have groups of 2 consecutive tracks of the same recording, having the same checksums after being ripped again, sound repeatedly different under non sighted conditions, just like the 2 comparison CDs supplied with certain BluSpec CD sets do, but this time having both versions on the same CD-R. In both cases there is no further computer involvement other than perhaps checking that the various comparison tracks do indeed have the same checksums, when being played by a CD/DVD player with correctly functioning error correction. There are 2 such comparison CD-Rs already in the U.S.A. (The Bronx) where some audible differences between tracks still remain even after being copied back to HDD again.

If you have a half decent CD player and a revealing Audio system, I would be prepared to burn a fresh comparison CD for you.

 

Regards

Alex

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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Paul

I would still love to see an explanation from you as to how a CD burned at a slower speed , using clean highly stable power and some vibration control, can have groups of 2 consecutive tracks of the same recording, having the same checksums after being ripped again, sound repeatedly different under non sighted conditions ...

 

Actually, Alex, you have it backwards. We'd love to see an explanation from you. You're the one making the "extraordinary claim".

"People hear what they see." - Doris Day

The forum would be a much better place if everyone were less convinced of how right they were.

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Actually, Alex, you have it backwards. We'd love to see an explanation from you. You're the one making the "extraordinary claim".

 

Why is it that whenever anybody from the Subjective side reports hearing something that the other side doesn't believe is possible, that they demand some kind of technical explanation or technical proof from those that they know aren't suitably qualified to perform the required measurements, let alone know which type to perform, or provide other technical proof of what they report ? Is having these files on a CD-R really that much different than having them saved to the same USB memory stick ?

In that case I already have 2 suitably qualified Sydney EEs, one with a very wide industry experience who is willing to back me up 100% that the differences are not subtle, and don't even need those ill conceived DBTs for verification.

They are both presently of the opinion that the problem lies with the checksums .

Do YOU have a decent CD player and a revealing Audio system ? If you do, and you heard the differences , would your credibility in the forum be sufficient to change the minds of your fellow hard line sceptics ?

Not bloody likely !

 

Regards

Alex

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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Paul

I would still love to see an explanation from you as to how a CD burned at a slower speed , using clean highly stable power and some vibration control...

 

Alex,

 

I thought the improved power supply, etc. was supposed to get rid of these differences. Are you saying with all this you are still hearing differences? This inability to ever produce a definitive rip of a CD has got suck.

 

KK

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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Alex,

 

I thought the improved power supply, etc. was supposed to get rid of these differences. Are you saying with all this you are still hearing differences? This inability to ever produce a definitive rip of a CD has got suck.

 

KK

 

KK

What I am saying here is that the far better power supply results in an audio file that is much closer to that on the original master.

What I use for demonstration purposes are mainly files ripped under far less than ideal conditions, usually using something like a USB powered portable DVD ROM, and perhaps also copied between HDDs etc. before being saved to the new location or burned to a CD. I pull out all the stops to create the better sounding version using techniques as previously detailed in this thread, then confirm that the checksums are still identical before burning to a CD or saving to a demo USB memory stick, or prepare them for Internet transmission, sending them (these days) as Uncompressed Zips as Cookie Marenco recommends.

I may even sometimes send the best version as an uncompressed Zip and the lesser sounding version as a normal .wav file. After being saved at the distant end they should still have identical checksums, just as has been verified by Martin Colloms ( and many others) on several occasions.

Regards

Alex

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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Is having these files on a CD-R really that much different than having them saved to the same USB memory stick ?

 

In my mind, it is actually very different.

 

CDs are rapidly spinning discs with tons of little pits very close together being scanned very quickly by a laser with no ability to go back to get lost data. This is why there are very elaborate error correction and data interpolation protocols used.

 

I have no problem at all believing that different CDs or even different sections of the same CD could sound different. Barry has mentioned in the past hearing differences between CDs produced in different plants and I believe him.

 

I have a hard time believing that identical data stored in different files on the same memory stick or hard drive could sound different unless one file was highly fragmented and the other contiguous. Even then it is a stretch for me.

 

Do YOU have a decent CD player and a revealing Audio system ? If you do, and you heard the differences , would your credibility in the forum be sufficient to change the minds of your fellow hard line sceptics ?

 

I would love to take you up on this but I haven't owned a CD player for years.

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby
Edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley
Through the middle of my skull

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In my mind, it is actually very different.

 

CDs are rapidly spinning discs with tons of little pits very close together being scanned very quickly by a laser with no ability to go back to get lost data. This is why there are very elaborate error correction and data interpolation protocols used.

 

I have no problem at all believing that different CDs or even different sections of the same CD could sound different. Barry has mentioned in the past hearing differences between CDs produced in different plants and I believe him.

 

 

 

.

Nevertheless, these comparison CD tracks can be ripped at speeds well in excess of normal playing speed and will still have identical check sums.In fact a comparison CD burned to a MAM Gold CD-R rips here at twice the speed of the same tracks on a normal supermarket CD-R.

I would be highly surprised if the CDs burned at different pressing plants didn't yield the same checksums , even when ripped at "breakneck speeds," provided that they were created from the same master. A while back a Professor of Music in the U.K sent me a brand new CD of "LPO - Mahler- Resurrection" to rip for him after being disappointed with his CD copy, in comparison with the master that he had heard. He remarked among other things that the brass was far less strident, and he could then pick the locations of certain players and that the rip revealed the dry sound of that hall.

 

Regards

Alex

 

P.S.

Please check your PMs.

 

How a Digital Audio file sounds, or a Digital Video file looks, is governed to a large extent by the Power Supply area. All that Identical Checksums gives is the possibility of REGENERATING the file to close to that of the original file.

PROFILE UPDATED 13-11-2020

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